Sunday, 1 April 2018

5 Things About Late Miscarriage.

Like most people I assume, I didn't know a lot, if anything about baby loss prior to losing Jonah. In fact, embaressingly I would say I actively avoided the subject. Not because I didn't think it should be discussed, but because I was frightened of ever being a part of that world. Then suddenly you're thrown in at the deep end when the unthinkable happens and you do lose your child. We've learnt a lot over the past few weeks, about ourselves, other people, but most importantly about this whole new world of life after Jonah. I thought I'd share a few realities of what really happens when you have a late miscarriage.

1. You've Given Birth - This may sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but I do think sometimes people forget. I assume because you don't have your baby at home and the focus is around that loss, the physical birth seems to get left behind. No matter the delivery, you still require some recovery. In my case, I had the exact same recovery procedure as any other c-section delivery, with the addition of a hysterectomy too. I had major abdominal surgery and I even have to remind myself sometimes to slow down and rest. This also means no heavy lifting or driving for weeks, which was a challenge in itself. I have a toddler that wants cuddles and being stuck in the house with just your thoughts, is not ideal. And guess what? You don't have your bundle of joy to make it all worth while, instead the pain and discomfort is just a constant reminder of what could have been.

2. Your Baby Looks Like a Baby - Okay, I know this maybe another really obvious thing, but I had no idea what a baby would look like at this gestation. Jonah was a picture of Violet, just smaller. He had ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes and was perfectly formed, but just arrived far too early. His eyes were formed under his eyelids, but not quite ready to open. And he was just my very tiny, precious little boy. 

3. You Still Produce Milk - Yep, even at 21+4 weeks I got a full milk supply. I guess I assumed that milk production wouldn't have been in full swing since I hadn't even reached the third trimester, clearly my body had other ideas. I was given some medication the day of Jonah's birth to prevent lactation, but it didn't seem to have any great effect. Just like my experience with Violet, my milk 'came in' on day 5 and was incredibly uncomfortable. Thankfully it only seemed to stick around for a week or so, but again something I could have done without. 

4. You Cannot Register the Birth - Giving birth in the second trimester but before 24 weeks puts you in a bit of a grey area. Legally, Jonah's birth was classed as a late miscarriage however because I was over 20 weeks I went straight to delivery suite not the antenatal ward. I will always describe Jonah as being born sleeping, no matter what the legalities are. However, because of the law, Jonah was not able to be registered as a birth or death, almost as if he never existed at all. I know there are huge political debates about this topic at the moment, so hopefully it won't be too long before the law is amended so Jonah and other babies can have a birth certificate. 

5. You Have to Plan a Funeral - I'm not sure many 27 year olds will have had to plan any funeral, let alone their child's. We chose cremation for Jonah and only had one request, that the ceremony was short and sweet. Thankfully we had an incredible funeral director, who couldn't have made the process easier. The thought of putting one foot in front of the other, just after losing you baby is hard enough. Planning a funeral is a whole different challenge. 

I'm sure they're 101 other things I've not mentioned, but I think these are the ones that surprised me the most. I so wish I'd been a little more prepared, but how do you prepare yourself for the unimaginable. 

Katie xx


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